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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: 'Beehive Fences' Keep Elephants Out
7 July 2011 3:35 pm
African elephants are afraid of bees (they even have an alarm call for them), and scientists are now using that fear to help protect the crops of Kenyan farmers. In previous studies, a team of researchers showed that the behemoths rapidly leave areas where they hear the sound of buzzing bees. Now these same scientists have designed and tested a fence that incorporates beehives spaced 10 meters apart. The team installed 1700 meters of the fences along the boundaries of 17 farms in Northern Kenya that are often raided by wild elephants; another 1700 meters of the same farms were protected only by thorn tree fences. After two years, the beehive fences easily won the contest: only one bull elephant broke through this fence, while 31 elephants managed to crash the thorn fence, the scientists report in the current issue of The African Journal of Ecology. Beehive fences can thus be used to help limit the number of human-elephant conflicts, a growing problem as the human population in Africa increases, and farmers and elephants compete for land and water resources, the researchers say.
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